Democrats blocked from including immigration reform in party-line spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated Sunday night that Democrats are “deeply disappointed in the decision” however plan to fulfill with the Senate parliamentarian in the approaching days and pursue different choices.

“Our economy depends more than ever on immigrants,” Schumer stated. “Despite placing their lives on the road throughout the pandemic and paying their fair proportion of taxes, they continue to be locked out of the federal help that served as a lifeline for therefore many households. We will proceed combating to pursue the most effective path ahead to grant them the power to acquire lawful standing.”

Schumer’s remarks had been echoed by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). A White House spokesperson reiterated that President Joe Biden “supports efforts by Congress to include a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package and is grateful to Congressional leadership for all of the work they are doing to make this a reality. “

With bipartisan talks stalled, Democrats broadly considered the social spending package deal — set to advance by the so-called price range reconciliation course of that permits Democrats to sidestep a filibuster — as their finest probability to enact immigration reform.

In their arguments earlier than the Senate parliamentarian, a former immigration lawyer, Democrats made the case that offering inexperienced playing cards to an estimated eight million Dreamers, farmworkers, Temporary Protected Status recipients and important staff throughout the pandemic had a budgetary impression as a result of it might make extra individuals eligible for sure federal advantages. That, in flip, would enhance the deficit by greater than $130 billion, in accordance with Democratic estimates.

But the parliamentarian said in her ruling that offering authorized standing by reconciliation would additionally result in “different, life-changing federal, state and societal advantages” that may’t be meaningfully mirrored in the price range.

Providing everlasting authorized standing “would give these persons freedom to work, freedom to travel, freedom to live openly in our society in any state in the nation, and to reunite with their families and it would make them eligible, in time, to apply for citizenship — things for which there is no federal fiscal equivalent.”

In addition, the parliamentarian rejected arguments from Democrats that there’s a precedent for including immigration reform in reconciliation. Democrats regularly pointed to a 2005 GOP-led reconciliation bill that addressed a visa backlog.

The parliamentarian, nevertheless, famous that the 2005 bill was “the product of a bipartisan agreement” — indicating that provisions with cross-aisle assist usually tend to fly underneath guidelines that do not require such buy-in — and that the provisions “are distinguishable” from each other, with the sooner immigration proposal not tackling the query of authorized standing.

Congressional Republicans praised the parliamentarian’s choice Sunday. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the highest Republican on the Judiciary Committee, tweeted that the parliamentarian “confirmed [the] obvious: mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants isn’t a budgetary issue appropriate for reconciliation.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) added, “Senate rules never contemplated a majority circumventing the filibuster by pretending that sweeping and transformational new policies were mere budgetary changes.”

“After decades of failing to enact their amnesty agenda, Democrats tried this latest unprecedented gambit,” McConnell stated. “It was inappropriate and I’m glad it failed.”

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